When you’re hiring a new employee, you’re hiring a new team member. Hiring the right fit sets the employee and the team up for success.
As the saying goes, “Hire for fit, train for skill.” Companies are finding that employees who fit in with the company culture are more engaged employees, and more engaged employees are more productive employees.
Cultural fit begins with the interview. The interview is the chance for both the candidate and hiring manager to assess if a match would be a good fit for both parties. Before conducting the interview, it’s critical that you understand your company’s culture. Understand the company’s core values, its mission, and the leadership and communication styles. An intimate understanding of the company culture and carefully assessing the candidate’s answers will help you select the right fit.
- Which of these do you find motivates you the most in your career – money, recognition, challenge, stability, or environment?
This is a favorite question of Jennifer Scott, Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Strategy at SUM Innovation. Scott has over 26 years as a talent acquisition strategist, recruiter, and talent management consultant.
She notes that any of these answers – money, recognition, challenge, stability or environment - may be acceptable, but understanding your company culture intimately enough to gauge if the candidate’s answer will work for you is critical. If the candidate answered “money” and your company typically pays at the lower end of the competitive scale, then you can take an educated guess that this candidate may not enjoy working at your company for long. If the candidate answered “recognition” and your team thrives on recognition, then you know that this candidate gets a checkmark towards being a good fit. If the answer is “challenge”, but the candidate has shown no upward mobility in his or her last roles, you’ll need to do some further exploring.
Also consider how the answer fits with what you already know about the candidate. The candidate’s answer of “stability” makes sense if you know he or she has been laid off repeatedly.
- What are four or five words that describe your ideal company culture?
To accurately assess answers to this question, first make a list of words that describe your company culture. Draw from the mission and values statements, internal communications, and glean from your experiences in the workplace. Does the candidate’s answer include any of these words?
- What type of management style allows you to do your best work?
When work is done on teams, it’s imperative that the team members get along. It’s even more crucial that the management style of the manager and the working style of the employee are compatible.
With more and more employees leaving their jobs because of bad management and not feeling like they fit in, it has become increasingly important to weigh culture fit more than skillset when hiring.
- How do you feel about forming friendships with coworkers? What is your preferred relationship with your coworkers?
Not everyone has to be friends, but they do need to get along to a degree. A cohesive team that works together seamlessly is not only more productive, but it also is a component of a highly engaged workforce. When people work with like-minded individuals – people who share the same values and characteristics – they’re more apt to get along and work together toward achieving company goals.
Carefully assessing the candidate’s answers will help you gauge whether he or she would be a good fit for your company culture. If the candidate’s values, motivations, or preferred environment do not match that of your company’s, consider exploring other candidates.
WunderLand is a team of Talent Acquisition Experts who connect companies with in-demand digital, marketing and creative talent. The experience, insight, and market knowledge we provide have earned us loyalty and a reputation for quality. We work closely with candidates to understand their skills, personalities and goals, and how those align with a client’s objectives, requirements and culture.
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